I Landed Among The Stars

Photo by Felix Mittermeier on Pexels.com

The following is a short story describing one of the nicest experiences from my PhD. Hope you enjoy the reading!

When I was doing my PhD in Europe, there was an established American researcher in my field. Because she was a reference, I had read a lot of her papers. One day, I was in a conference and I saw one researcher staring at my poster. I approached him and we started talking.

At some point, he said his name and I realized he was a co-author of a paper with the outstanding researcher I mentioned before. I said: “Oh! You know her!”. After discussing my poster and their joint work, he offered to put the researcher in touch with me. And he did. Quickly!

In a couple of days, he sent an e-mail to the two of us. And the established and prolific researcher also replied very quickly! At that point, I thought, what is the worst that can happen if I ask her to visit us?

So I talked to my PhD supervisor and he gave me all the support to send her an e-mail (and not him as a senior researcher/PI!). So I invited her to come to visit us. And wow! She said she was going to visit Europe for a conference and that she could stop by Barcelona!

She came with her husband, gave a talk to an audience of researchers from our institution, we had dinner together with my PhD supervisor… It was the beginning of something!

Sometime later, another PhD from my group did her international PhD stay of 3 months in her group. And when I was doing my postdoc, we submitted a research proposal that got funded. And after all, I always have this quote in mind:


Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.

Norman Vincent Peale

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